Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Book Club: No. 1 Car Spotter

Today at book club we discussed Atinuke's The No 1 Car Spotter.

I picked this book because it was funny, easy, and featured a boy. ALSO! It takes place in Africa, in a rural village which I thought would be nice change of scenery from where we live and what we normally see in books.

Some of the kids liked it and thought it was funny or liked the adventure of the different setting BUT! SADLY! most of them didn't like it. They thought it was boring (partly because they couldn't wrap their heads around why you'd want to spot cars and spend all day doing it. That, and they thought naming your kid Coca-Cola was stupid.)

One thing I've realized is that my regular group of readers doesn't have great reading comprehension skills, so a lot of my questions focused on that.

Did you like the book? Why or why not?

Why is No. 1 called No. 1? Why is Coca-Cola called Coca-Cola? (These two have definite "right" answers.)

Using what we know about how No. 1 and Coca-Cola got their names, why do you think Auntie Fine-Fine is called Auntie Fine-Fine? What about Mama Coca-Cola? Uncle Go Easy? Mama B?

What is No. 1 supposed to buy at the market for Auntie Fine-Fine? Why do you think he messed up?

What are some of the differences between life in No. 1's village and life in the DC-area?-- The resulting discussion touched on whether or not places like this exist in the US and why all the men were in the city (I was going to ask this as a separate conversation about far-away parents, but we ran out of time) and whether or not school in the US is free.

We then discussed their questions about the book, which were pretty basic but was good to see what they were puzzling over.

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